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Our Last 50 Referrers

« What Does "Plain" Mean? | Main | Borjas on Immigration »

January 02, 2008


Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Marc Andreessen thinks that The Economist needs to go back to school.

* Is Keynesianism a religion-like belief-set or a reasonable way to understand some of what happens in the world?

* Alex Tabarrok wonders if it makes sense for the federal government to be subsidizing air transportation into and out of backwaters.

* Steve Bodio's photos show how clear the air at 6500 feet can be in winter.

* The 1990s saw the biggest population boom ever in American history -- thanks to, as you might have guessed, crazy immigration policies. This article includes a helpful reminder that back in the 1970s it was widely thought that America's population was leveling off, and that that was a good and desirable thing.

* Steve Sailer suspects that maybe more kids should be dropping out of high school. An eye-opening fact that I found in Steve's piece: "Almost half of Hispanics in this [18-24] age group immigrated within the last ten years."

* Roissy thinks that the girliness of girls' handwriting is biologically based.

* The Neutralist is glad to see that John Derbyshire has wised up.

* Riva Greenberg finds that eating low-carb keeps her diabetes under control.

* Meet William Banting, the original low-carb dieter.

* Multimedia journalist Tim Overdiek shows what "repurposing your content" is all about.

* Hey, how about a career in television? (Link found thanks to Tim Overdiek.)

* MBlowhard Rewind: I mused about the differences between one's tastes in sexual material and what a sensible public policy about the stuff might be.



posted by Michael at January 2, 2008


And I congratulate The Neutralist for being an Isolationist (though he doesn't seem to realize it yet). Moreover, he wins my prestigious "It's 1928 Forever" award.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on January 2, 2008 1:44 PM

My Dear Mr. Pittenger,

I think we have to get a handle here on what is an Isolationist. The Japanese before Perry were Isolationist, the Swiss are Neutralist. The difference is vast.

The Neutralist is happy to consider an application for Wilsonian of the Year but we do not know enough about you. Please send us a note on how successful you believe current US foreign policy is and any countries where you wish to spread democracy by force.

Many thanks.

Joseph Moroco

Posted by: The Neutralist on January 2, 2008 4:03 PM

Look, this foreign policy business is very complicated and not subject to experimental test. Further, "success" and "failure" are ultimately subjective: you seem to think our foreign dealings have been largely a flop, whereas I think think that, in general, the USA has done OK over the last 70 years -- OK, not perfect.

Also, I'm not intelligent enough to grasp that the difference between pre-Meiji Japan and modern Switzerland is "vast" especially when geopolitical settings are taken into account. At the core, both countries decided to pull back their horns. Japan later became aggressive -- because they were able to. The Swiss haven't -- because they are not able to, among other factors. (And yes, I'm familiar with the Swiss military system -- it is defensive, in nature.)

Based on the items on the main page of your site, I formed the notion that Neutralism is a 21st century version of the Fortress America concepts of the 1930s. But, as usual, I'm probably mistaken.

Finally, by the way, I'm no fan of Woodrow Wilson, yet agree (in the broad sense) with our aggressive foreign policy.

This is all I have to say in this comment thread.

Posted by: Donald Pittenger on January 2, 2008 5:53 PM

Mr. Pittenger,

I should not wish to offend anyone here, especially as this site has been very good to me today. Obviously, we could go toe to toe for quite awhile on this, but as you are not as narrowly focused and this is my blog's main point, I can understand that you might not be interested in continuing.

Suffice it to say, during the last seventy years, we have lived well off of the fact that we got into WWII late and were really all that was standing at the end. If you think the next seventy years will be prosperous under the same policies, We at the Neutralist say, wait.

Thank you

Joseph Moroco

Posted by: The Neutralist on January 2, 2008 6:45 PM

Neat little coincidence: Frederick Banting (a Canadian) was the name of the doctor who, with his assistant Charles Best, discovered insulin in the early 1920s.

Posted by: alias clio on January 2, 2008 6:45 PM

"This article includes a helpful reminder that back in the 1970s it was widely thought that America's population was leveling off, and that that was a good and desirable thing."

This is exactly what first brought me to the immigration issue: If the US has hit replacement level reproduction, why is it still growing at ridiculous levels? I discovered that massive immigration - legal and illegal - was the culprit. I then began researching immigration and discoverd all sorts of other downsides, like wage depression, cultural impacts, etc. that were not specifically related to over-population such as over-crowded housing.

It is a mystery to me why so many of the so-called environmentalists have basically given up their cause to political correctness.

Posted by: D Flinchum on January 2, 2008 10:21 PM

Three major theories of why immigration persists despite its unpopularity and objective harm to the country:

1) The Brahmin Theory: there are people in power who have a deep-seated psychological need to see that immigration continues at present unsustainable rates. This is basically a class struggle, with the so-called Brahmin class's Kulturkampf against the middle class. (Blogger Mencius talks about this at length.)

2) The Oligarch Theory: basically your G.W. Bush / Wall Street Journal wing of the Republican Party. Lots of cheap labor, lots of cheap consumers. Liberal churches are a subset of this.

3) The Feudal Theory: overlaps with 1 and 2 above in that the goal is the creation of a de facto destruction of the middle class and a creation of a small aristocracy that rules a sea of rubes. In this case specifically, immigration helps tilt the demographic balance toward a dependent sea of socialist voters. The Democratic party is nearly monolithic is support of this strategy.

Posted by: PA on January 3, 2008 8:20 AM

Loved your 3 theories, PA and note that they aren't at all mutually exclusive. A lot of truth in all three.

As to the Feudal Theory, in which we see the "de facto destruction of the middle class and a creation of a small aristocracy that rules a sea of rubes", wait until all those white middle-class open borders liberals in the Democratic Party find out that they aren't going to be part of that small aristocracy running the show. Heck, they're not even going to get a seat at a table on the second tier.

I think this might be beginning to sink in on some African-Americans. When 80% or more of new immigrants and their children are just as eligible for affirmative action as the descendants of slaves, where does that leave them? And "family reunification" - the largest source of legal immigration - will insure that their ranks keep growing. Meanwhile those descendants of slaves occupy an ever decreasing percentage of an ever increasing population, sliding into near irrelevance as a political force.

I keep warning my "bring 'em out of the shadows" friends that Sen Feinstein and Sen Boxer are more likely to be replaced by male Latinos who have no more interest in women's rights than they have in gay rights than they are to be replaced by liberated right-thinking liberals. But I suspect their replacements might wear the Democratic label, at least at first. But maybe La Raza will have its own party by then.

Posted by: D Flinchum on January 3, 2008 11:30 AM

I suspect, D. Flinchum, that the Dems are counting on left/lib indoctrination to turn mucho muchacho Latinos into whipped modern young American males (at least in the next generation). Of course, as you suggest, their faith in their ability to inculcate their values may be greatly misplaced.

I, too, agree with all 3 of PA's comments, which is why I've harped on the applicability of Bertolt Brecht's poem "The Solution" - our betters really do wish to "dissolve the people, and elect another".

Posted by: Will S. on January 4, 2008 12:31 AM

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